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An open letter from mortgage industry statistician Tom LaMalfa to Sen. Chuck Schumer

Oct 18, 2007

American Brokers Conduit: 2002-2007MortgagePress.comAmerican Brokers Conduit The following is a compilation of correspondence and conversation with former employees and friends of American Brokers Conduit (ABC). Although the company did close their doors at the beginning of August, ABC has left an indelible mark on the mortgage industry. We wish the former employees of ABC the best of luck in their future endeavors. "The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur." —Vince Lombardi Five years ago, a small group of dedicated mortgage professionals came together to begin a journey that would take a small wholesale lender and turn it into one of the top lenders in the country. It started with a core group of executive leaders with tremendous vision. While this group wanted to build a successful wholesale platform, they didn't want to just be another lender—they wanted to be something different. At the core of building their successful business was assuring that the very best and most passionate were assembled from across the country. They knew that, without passion, you simply couldn't be your best. That culture was inherent with all employees at ABC from the very beginning. Employees were dedicated and committed to helping ABC and the industry grow. ABC employees continuously supported their Mortgage Broker partners, and had developed multiple tools and resources to help their brokers succeed, even in a declining market. At ABC, there was not a separate corporate and sales culture, there was one team. That team made it their mission to help brokers become as successful as possible. While having the right team assembled was critical, without a solid vision and plan, the best team wouldn't be successful. ABC had firmly established their vision and plan—to build a broker-centric business. This meant always delivering service beyond expectations and listening to the needs of the Mortgage Broker community. They listened, implemented and continued to build their business around their broker customers. Mortgage Brokers across the country knew ABC was their partner and would work with them to grow their business. ABC gained the respect of so many across the country and established solid relationships with some of the top mortgage experts in the industry. These relationships helped make ABC stronger and reinforced their broker-centric model, which had never been executed so successfully. ABC also put a tremendous emphasis on technology, something new to the mortgage industry. With the introduction of new technology, comprehensive training plans were put in motion and ABC became a powerhouse. The company would rise to become one of the top lenders in the industry, peaking as the sixth largest lender in the industry. Over the last few months of this year, ABC faced insurmountable challenges like so many others in our industry today. The company fought as tough as it could to sustain their position in the industry. The sentiment and goodwill during that difficult time, from brokers, external partners and employees, was a testament to the impact that ABC as a company had made on so many lives. In the end, however, the company succumbed to difficult market conditions. We all know saying goodbye is never easy and it certainly has not been in the case of this dynamic lender that came to be a visionary in our industry. We can, however, embrace the fact that those employees and brokers who worked with ABC to make it such a success can now bring their philosophies, ideas, knowledge and expertise to others in our industry. The very same executive team that started the company worked tirelessly to help place their teams in new companies, trying to keep those that had worked together so successfully as much as possible. Fortunately, many ABC branches have remained intact and have moved to other wholesale lenders such as Wachovia and Sun Trust Bank, whose philosophies closely mirror that of ABC's. While the ABC story comes to a close, the passion and vision to succeed, with dedication and commitment, in our industry continues to live on.
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